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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  July 30, 2011 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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some legal training. >> he asked for that and the judge quickly shut that down. >> we had to know that would not happen. the stories you brought us about the little boy and woman unbelievable. thank you. see you later on. i'm don lemon at cnn headquarters. i'll see you back here in one hour from now. in the meantime special live edition "the situation room" with wolf blitzer. he's following the debt crisis in washington. wolf, take it away. >> thanks very much. happening now, crisis talks over at the white house. washington's top democrats go behind closed doors. are they on the verge of offering a deal to the republicans? on capitol hill, republican leaders now say they are confident and optimistic. their latest prediction, a national default is not going to happen but are democrats singing the same tune? senators appear ready to work late into the night and lawmakers confirm there are right now ongoing talks at the highest levels. but will a deal take shape or
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could it still fall apart? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room". it's been a day of dramatic changes in washington's debt crisis. within the past few hours capitol hill's angry partisanship gave way to serious negotiations, and then to predictions of an agreement within the very near future, one top republican, the senator minority leader mitch mcconnell declared and i'm quoting, he's confident and optimistic. moments ago harry reid seemed to throw some cold water on the new found optimism. rets go to capitol hill. our congressal correspondent kate bolduan is following this. what do we know? >> reporter: it's changing minute by minute. we did see what could be a significant step in the negotiations just a short time ago when the top republican in the senate, he said, who is a
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key negotiator in whatever the end game s-he said that those stalled debt talks that were happening that have been stalled all this past week he acknowledged they are talking once again. list engineer here. actually, i don't think we have the sound. that was mitch mcconnell who said he had spoken with the president as well as the vice president and that he says they are fully engaged in serious negotiations. that is a big statement. i'll tell you almost as quickly as we heard that come from the top republican in the senate we also heard from senate majority leader harry reid as he was returning to the capitol from a meeting at the white house with the president. he was asked if they were any closer to an agreement and reid said very firmly no. one reason could be is we're hearing from democratic leadership aides in the senate, the possible pessimism they said
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republicans have not moved off from their position that they support the house speaker john boehner's bill. what we're seeing a lot of is a lot of back and forth here. it is a very fluid situation as you know, wolf. one thing we're keeping our eye on is potential for a very late night, 1:00 a.m. vote, the first test, a test vote for senator reid's proposal to raise the federal debt ceiling as he's pushing that proposal forward at the same time. >> they need 60 votes for reid's proposal to get through the senate because the republicans at least some of them are threatening a filibuster, as you know. they may have 58, 59. it looks unlikely they will 2k3w0e69. is that right? >> it's not clear where the votes stand. from the beginning there was definite opposition from republicans to reid's bill. reid's bill failed in the house. the house held the vote proving the point it doesn't have the support.
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it's moving forward and at the end. day reid may be thinking it might be the only thing left standing. negotiations are continuing. >> we'll get that clip of mitch mcconnell because it was a powerful statement he made a couple of hours ago. we'll play it shortly for our viewers. let's go the other end of pennsylvania avenue right now to the white house. president obama has been meeting with the democratic leader, house minority leader, nancy pelosi and harry reid. that meeting broke up about an hour or so ago. our chief correspondent jessica yellin has been working her sources. what are you hearing? >> reporter: wolf, the takeaway right now is that for the first time in days after so much silence and lock down there's now conversation going on between this building and capitol hill, between democrats and republicans in both houses. as you point out not only harry reid and speaker pelosi were here but staffs for both chambers have been in touch. speaker boehner spoke to the
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president. mitch mcconnell, he was the one and this is worth pointing out, he's the one who picked up the phone and called vice president biden himself. and did it more, they had conversations more than once today to talk about not vague terms but to talk about the state of play and what can get done. democrats say there's a growing acceptance that a party line bill cannot get the debt ceiling raised and that progress needs to be made towards something that will not be a party line bill. and, you know, one of the outstanding questions here is we saw two democratic leaders leave the white house. open question will we see the republican leadership at the white house later today? no meeting scheduled but we'll keep an eye out to see if that happens. >> they are talking on the phone, though, which is very encouraging because the president hadn't been speaking to any of these relepublican leaders in four or five days.
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>> reporter: that's right. mitch mcconnell the minority leader had conversations with the president and the vice president. mcconnell, senator minority leader, the lynch pin to cutting a deal in the u.s. senate with harry reid, the senate majority leader. then john boehner speaker of the house will have to shepherd that through the house of representatives and no doubt when speaker pelosi was in there meeting with the president they must have been talking about what it would take for her to get her democrats in the house to sign on to whatever bill the senate will negotiate. now it's a numbers game. >> at some point if they have a deal or close to a deal or whatever we'll hear from the president of the u.n.. but as of right now, as of right now we don't have any word of that. let's go the floor right now. i think harry reid the majority leader is speaking. >> announce talks with the president and a bargain to raise the debt ceiling is in the works and is close. mr. president, members of the senate that's not true.
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i just spent two hours with the president, vice president, leader pelosi. and it's fair for me to say that the engagement there is not in any meaningful way. republican leaders still refuse to negotiate in good faith. revenue is off the calendar. no way we can talk about revenues. entitlements, all they are after is entitlements. medicare, social security. the speaker and republican leaders should know merely saying they have an agreement in front of the television cameras doesn't make it so. republican leader, the president says he's engaged. fortunately members of this caucus, at least as far as i'm concerned and my members are more engaged than so. there are meaningful talks with some of his members. while the republican leader is
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holding meaningless press conferences, his members are reaching out to me and other members as i've just indicated, they are coming forward with thoughtful ideas to try to move the process forward. i welcome their ideas. and i ask all members to continue these discussions. america is watching us and demanding a result that's balanced. i say to my friend and he is my friend the republican leader, i'll come to his office, i will go to the white house with him, i will do anything that i can do to try to move this process forward. but i say as respectfully as i can to my friend the senior senator from kentucky the process has not been moved forward during this day. >> mr. president. >> the minority leader. the republican leader. >> mr. president, the fact of the matter is that the only way we're going to get an agreement before tuesday is to have an agreement with the president of the united states. the only person in america, the
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307 million of us who can sign something into law. and i'm more optimistic than my friend the majority leader. we both talked to the president today. talked to the vice president several times. i think we've got a chance of getting there. what i think is not helpful is that process we're going through here on the senate floor having a show vote over live quorums, having a reluctance on the part of the majority to have a vote on a measure they favor, which we're prepared to vote on since last night. look, we need to be in a position where all of us in the leadership can come back here and say that we think we've reached a framework of an agreement that we can recommend to our members and brief to our members. the sooner we can do that, the
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sooner we can reassure the american people we'll get a result on a bipartisan basis. so that's what i'm working on. i'm not interested in scoring any political points. i'm interested in getting an outcome for the american people. the only way that can be done is with the president of the united states. and we're going to continue to work on that. get this problem solved. let everybody in the country know that we're not going to default for the first time in our history. that's how i'll spend my time until we get that without come that i can come up here on recommend to my colleagues. >> mr. president. >> the majority leader. >> we are here today right now for this reason. it's spelled filibuster, filibuster. there's delaying tactics proceeding right now. they won't allow us to have an
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up or down vote on our amendment. this is a filibuster. by any other term it's a filibuster. that's why we're here. i hope the negotiations go on. we're willing to be as fair as we can. but there has to be something that the president and vice president biden and the rest of us think is a step in the right direction. i guess talk is a step in the right direction. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the matter that we have before us which is amendment number 589 we have an up or down vote on that. as we have all the time, of course. there would be no points of order in effect and we do like we do here all the time, have a vote on it right now. >> mr. president, i would like
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to object. these are direct quotes from my friend the majority leader. he says quote in the senate it's always been the case you need 60 votes. always been the case you need 60 votes. this is the majority leader of the united states senate. for him to suggest that a matter of this magnitude in a body that requires 60 votes for almost everything is going to be done with 51 votes makes no sense at all. in. >> mr. president. >> the objection is heard. >> first of all, it's unconscionable that be republicans would filibuster legislation and permit a default on our national obligations. frankly it's unprecedented. since 1962 congress has raised the debt limit 74 times, including 18 times under president reagan and there was never a threat of a filibuster and it was always by majority vote. >> mr. president. >> the republican leader.
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>> mr. president, i might say i actually cut short a conversation with the vice president to come out here for this important vote on a live quorum. i would like to get back to work so we can hopefully solve this problem. and it seems to me, mr. president, be a good idea for the majority to decide to allow the vote on the proposal they say they are in favor of. therefore i would ask unanimous consent that the vote on the motion occur at 6:30. >> i >> i object. >> objection is heard. >> the majority leader. >> mr. president, you can put a lipstick on it. nice suit. even a skirt sometimes. it's still a filibuster.
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>> clerk will call the roll. so there you have a little exchange between the two leaders in the united states senate. at issue right now is whether the vote on harry reid's proposal to raise the debt ceiling would require a simple majority 51 votes, or a 60 vote requirement if there's a filibuster of the republicans, are filibustering. you heard mitch mcconnell say almost every important vote in the senate. that's the nature of the game. the democrats don't have 60 votes to break a republican filibuster on this so harry reid's proposal would go down. mitch mcconnell is saying in effect, there are important negotiations going on right now with the president of the united states. the vice president of the united states. why are we wasting our time he's suggesting by these procedural votes in the united states senate when the country's credit
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worthiness in effect is at stake. that's what's going on the for of the united states senate. also significantly very different assessments of the current state of negotiations, just a couple of hours ago mitch mcconnell suggesting a deal was getting closer, saying there would not be a default, he was optimistic a deal could be reached. harry reid began his statement on the senate floor by saying that's not true, no progress he says has been made. he points out he just came back from the white house where he met with the president and the vice president. mark warner is a democratic senator from virginia who is very much involved in all of this. he's joining us now live from capitol hill. senator, thanks very much for joining us. >> thanks for having me, wolf but it's pretty bizarre. >> very bizarre. was my summation basically accurate? anything you can quibble with? >> no, other than the fact there are procedural votes going on. there's a filibuster. there's three things that viewers ought to recognize. one, we need to make sure we get
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some circumstance to get us through august 2nd. two, we sure shouldn't put the country through this again in six months. and three, if we get through august 2nd with whatever the down payment is, if we don't have an approach that's going to be really bipartisan and comprehensive that gets us close to $4 trillion in debt reduction over the next ten years we're backing this problem three months, six months, nine months, 12 months from now and that's not good for the country. >> why don't they all go into at that room. go up to camp david or force themselves into at that room, the president, the vice president, the democratic and republican leaders of the house and the senate and they don't leave until they come up with a plan that can get a majority vote in the house of representatives and a majority vote in the senate? it doesn't sound all that complicated, and, frankly, the differences don't seem to be all that enormous. >> wolf, i was a business guy for 20 years. i was a governor for four years.
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i can't quibble with you. we need to get the folks in the room, lock the door and nobody leaves until these things are worked through. there's so much back and forth. there seems to be a real challenge. there's a filibuster going on right now. that's absolutely technically true. i hope we get the votes through. at the end of the day, what we've got to do is get over august 2nd, make sure we don't do this again and give some certainty to the markets and we got to have a comprehensive and i think bipartisan plan. it can't be a democrat or republican plan only. i look around this town, the gang of six plan is the only plan in this city that has a third of the senate saying let's go forward with that framework. i hope at the end of the day that gets a vote. a few months from now with whatever we get through gets us towards a solution. august 2nd will be a fix. we have to get a solution. >> air pressure key member of that so-called gang of six.
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three democratic senators, three republican senators. you guys came up with a plan that had a lot of support in the united states senate. this seems to be one of the major stumbling blocks right now if not the major stumbling block. this proposal that the republicans and the house want, the speaker wants for another vote next year, six months or so from now and the president says no way, no more votes on this, we're most going to put the country through this again in the middle of an election season. how do you get over that hurd >> there's got to be a way through. i was a business guy for 20 years before i got involved in politics. it makes no sense from an economic stoirks put our country through this kind of back and forth again six months from now. with the economy as fragile as it is i don't care whether it's a republican idea or democrat idea. as a business guy that makes no sense at all. so if there's needs be triggers, if there needs be making sure we get stuff done, if there's needs a new commission that's fine.
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let's make sure we gate vote on something that is comprehensive, that's bipartisan. that's the only thing we're asking or at least i'm asking and a third of the senate that says hey, if not the gang of six plan let's do something else that's comprehensive. it won't happen in the next three days but hopefully happen in the next six months. i don't think there will be any appetite and increasing number of republican senators who are saying hold on we don't need to go through this same political kabuki theater six months from now. >> that's what a lot of people think, kabuki theater. senator we're counting on you and all of the lawmakers to get this done because millions and millions of people will suffer in the united states, indeed around the world if there's a default and we hope there isn't a default, but the country is getting closer and closer to tuesday when that could happen. so go back to work and use your influence. we're counting on you. thanks very much.
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we'll get a different perspective from a key republican senator, ralph portman from ohio. also very intelligent, very involved, very committed to getting a deal done. we have a lot of the breaking news coverage coming up. dra mat juke developments happening right now on the senate floor. we'll have all the live coverage coming up right here. a special edition of "the situation room". and when it does, men with erectile dysfunction can be more confident in their ability to be ready with cialis for daily use. ♪ cialis for daily use is a clinically proven low-dose tablet you take every day so you can be ready anytime the moment's right. ♪ tell your doctor about your medical condition and all medications, and ask if you're healthy enough for sexual activity. don't take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. [ man ] do not drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache, or muscle ache.
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there are fast-moving very dramatic developments moving in an effort avoid for the first time ever a u.s. government default a little while ago the top republicans in congress said they are confident, they are optimistic about reaching a deal. minutes ago you saw it live here in the situation room the democratic leader harry reid flatly saying that mitch mcconnell the minority leader, the republican leader his assessment is not true. they are not closer to a deal. let's assess what's going on with our chief political analyst who knows what's really going on. who is right? is harry reid right when he says they are not close to a deal or is mitch mcconnell right when he says he's been speaking with the
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president and vice president, he feels optimistic. >> we know the vice president has spoken with mitch mcconnell three times today. we know that there are clearly discussions about how to reach a deal. we know the president got the democratic lead towers the white house and they came back unhappy. so, the question that i have and i don't know the answer is are the democrats worried that the white house is trying to compromise with the republicans rather than understanding what their needs are? the key thing here the watch, wolf, is nancy pelosi in the house has got to deliver an awful lot of democrats. how many republicans will john boehner be able to deliver. if he loses 100 of his republicans, is that, you know is that enough for nancy pelosi to deliver her democrats? >> all the democrats support whatever emerge, about 190. if they get 30 republicans, moderate republicans, and there
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are 30 moderate republicans, it's a very minority part of the republican party, but they have enough to get 216 votes. >> they do. the question that i have and i think this is the holy grail which is what is enough for nancy pelosi to say okay we have a deal. if i'm going to pass this, if i'm nancy pelosi i'll pass this in the house. i'll put my people on the line. what are the republicans willing to give up for me to supply the votes, which is why the "wall street journal" editorialized this week about tea party republicans and said to them, you know what? you're empowering nancy pelosi. so, those are the kinds of discussions that are taking place right now and maybe the democrats feel the republicans are not willing to -- >> my own sense is if the president of the united states who is the leader, if he says this is good enough for me, nancy pelosi, the democrats in the house and the democrats in the senate they will salute the
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president, the commander in chief and say yes, sir. >> they have been griping about him throughout his tenure he left them behind and hasn't paid enough attention third concerns. is this another one of those times where the president feels as president he can't let the country go into default, he has to tell nancy pelosi to deliver. i think she wants to deliver. but she probably wants to get something out of it. >> the other thing that is intriguing to me, and i think you get the same sense, mitch mcconnell who is a key player in all of this, the republican leader in the senate, he may like harry reid but he doesn't trust him. i think he trusts the president and vice president more to make a deal something they can live with. >> i think he does. he also believes in this particular case mitch mcconnell could really prove to be an ally of his. >> don't go too far away. we'll continue the breaking news coverage. minute by minute change of
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events, the drama unfolding. the rob portman, the senator from ohio has been a key player. he's standing by live. we'll go to capitol hill to get his assessment of what's going on. stay with us, you're in the situation room. liberty mutual auto insurance. introducing gillette odor shield antiperspirant. it targets and neutralizes odor at the source. help eliminate odor, don't just cover it up. ♪
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tonight we're getting conflicting signals about whether or not there's a possible debt deal near. republican leaders say they are confident and optimistic but moments ago the democratic leader in the senate, senator harry reid said no when reporters asked if an agreement is near. then he went on the senate floor and repeated that. he said reports that they are closer to a deal quoting mitch
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mcconnell, the republican leader in the nature in harry reid's word not true. let's get an assessment from rob portman of ohio. he's a former budget director during the bush administration. senator, thanks very much for coming in. >> up bet, wolf. >> it sound like mitch mcconnell is optimistic that a deal is close. harry reid very pessimistic. he says there's no progress been made today. where do things stand from your vantage point? >> well, i just left the floor of the senate where mitch mcconnell talked about his discussions with the president and vice president biden today. he believes they are close. i think there's an agreement now that there has to be real and credible reductions in spending. if you look at the boehner proposal compared to the reid proposal there's some similarities. i'm hopeful we can come together. it's important we extend this debt limit but absolutely critical that while we do that we also deal with the underlying problem and if we don't, wolf,
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we'll still have some of the same economic problems that moody's and fitch and standard & poor and accorrectedation agencies are warning about. >> even if there's a short term solution right now and there's no guarantee there will, even if that were that wouldn't necessarily preclude the possibility of a cripple a credit rating going down, a deterioration. the credit rating agencies could still say america's credit worthiness is not worthy of a aaa. your concerned about that. >> very concerned. there will be broader ramifications. we've seen what the market has done. americans would be hurt. anybody who borrows including people who have car loans and student loans and credit card debt. mortgages would be going up. interest rates going up make it harder for small businesses to create jobs and opportunities. so this is of serious concern and that's why the leadership on the republican side has been saying we need to extend the
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debt limit but do it with spending cuts as well because if we don't get at the under lying problem our fiscal house is out of order we'll still have these problems related to the economy. >> harry reid's proposal has more than $2 trillion in spending cuts and that was scored by the congressional budget office, more than enough to keep the debt ceiling high enough through 201 what's wrong with that? >> unfortunately the congressional budget office has rescored both the boehner and reid proposal and on top of that part of the savings that the majority leader reid hopes to get is from the war in afghanistan and iraq beginning to wind down. and the cbo has looked at that and said there's a trillion worth of savings that's not real savings because everybody knows the war will wind down. when you look at it as i see it harry reid's proposal is about $950 billion worth of savings. john boehner is $917.
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quite similar. not the 2.2 or 2.4 that's being talked about. so we do have to do more in term of the immediate cuts in order to extend it for the period of time the president would like. the alternative is this two step process. a trillion dollars now and then have this special committee that would meet and report by the end of november and then there would be additional savings under the boehner proposal. that's almost $2 trillion additional savings, 1.1 trillion. >> the president says he doesn't want to have another formal vote next year and put the country through this ordeal once again right in the middle of elections. he has a point there, right? >> well, wolf, he doesn't have much a point of putting it past the election. that's an arbitrary deadline. he does for the market. the way it's structured once the committee reports assuming this committee does its work there would be an automatic renewal based on the amount of savings found. what's at issue right now is whether there's some fail safe
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so-called trigger mechanism to ensure those savings occur and i think we're getting down to some pretty specific issues here that can be resolved. the difference between the debt limit, short term and long term won't be the full $1.8 trillion in the boehner commission which is similar to the reid commission. less than that. under the current plan i think you would see the debt limit extended to mid-february. the committee reports the end of november. the savings should be there if not. there's a fail safe method that could be put into place that could be immediate. you wouldn't have this last minute debt issue. you personally, of course, think we ought to reduce spending. we have sequestration across the board. seems like a logical rochester. the savings wouldn't have to be the full amount but trillion dollars to get it past the election. this is a bare minimum in my view. if we don't do that in any case we'll have real problems in terms of what you talked about
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earlier. credit agencies downgrading our debt and impacts on our entire economy. >> senator, thanks very much for coming in. >> thank you. >> good luck. we'll continue to watch this. we're not leaving this story because it is so critically important to the u.s. and indeed to the world. when we come back the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff admiral mullen was in afghanistan and soldiers asked him will they get paid next week. can you imagine american soldiers worried about getting paid next week. they are on the front lines. war in afghanistan, they ask a question to mike mullen of this nature and he basically says i don't know the answer to that question. wow. barbara starr is over at the pentagon. we'll check in with her. continuing the breaking news coverage right after this. ♪ ♪ look at that car, well, it goes fast ♪ ♪ givin' my dad a heart attack ♪
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lots of confusion about what will happen to the united states military if the u.s. can't pay its bills come due starting on
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tuesday. a spokesman for admiral mike mullen telling cnn the admiral doesn't know what the impact would be for the military as far as pay and compensation are concerned. he reinforced defense secretary leon panetta's message that the united states mission in afghanistan will continue but it's an issue very much on the minds of troops. our pentagon correspondent barbara starr is here in the situation room working this part of the story. barbara, a very dramatic development today in afghanistan. mullen goes there and troops start asking him, troops who are risking their lives fighting for the united states in afghanistan, will they be paid next week? >> these are young troops, wolf, in combat. you and i have covered the pentagon for a long time. they are on the front lines. the chairman of the joint chiefs spend the day in afghanistan. he wants to talk about the war. the troops have a different idea in mind. they want to know will they get paid and will their families be taken care of. this is just the beginning
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because now with all the talk in washington about money, money, money, the pentagon itself is right in the cross hairs. the pentagon spend nearly $700 billion a year on wars, fighter jets, bombings and bullets. rich target to cut spending to reduce the deficit. president obama's incoming top military advisor is playing ball to an extent. >> if we don't show we recognize that the nation has a significant economic problem and then do our part whatever that part may be to help solve it we will be seen as simply putting up barriers. >> reporter: the house wants to cut $400 billion in pentagon spending over the next 12 years. some in congress want to cut security spending by more than $800 billion, which doesn't sit well with dempsey. >> based on the difficulty of achieving the 400 billion dollar
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cut, i believe 800 would be extraordinarily difficult, and very high risk. >> former defense secretary and one time republican senator william cohen says there may be an unusual political alliance forming. >> some republicans who want to disengage and say we're over when itted and we should come home, america, may find comfort with some on the democratic left who would fwu that we should come home, america and focus our energy and resources and attention here at rebuilding the american economy. >> pro defense house republicans are still playing the danger card. >> one of the biggest fears that i have is these enormous budget cuts that we see coming down the pike. >> and making sure the brass is heard. >> i think if they would exceed $400 billion we would have to make fundamental changes in the capability of the marine corps. so, playing this military card support for the military,
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the republicans and the democrats are both playing this card right now. t what about leon panetta, the brand new defense secretary. why haven't we heard from him. what's interesting late last night a statement from panetta appeared on the pentagon website. nobody knew it was coming. the troops didn't know. veterans groups didn't know. all he said was that he was concerned and he going to try to continue to support the troops but he didn't say, wolf, that they would get paid and that remains issue number one. >> pretty shocking when you think about it. soldiers in afghanistan asking the chairman of the joint chiefs will we get a paycheck and he says i don't know. it's a message. a powerful message to lawmakers here in washington and to the white house. get this done and get it done quickly. >> the troops want their pay checks and balances. he'll derly want theirs -- eld security and medicare. >> the debt crisis highlights
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the growing power avenue player, just how powerful is the tea party? stand by, we'll take a closer look.
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the debt showdown isn't just at fight between president obama and congressional republicans. republicans are fighting amongst themselves with moderates on one side and a new breed of conservatives backed by the tea party on the other. has the tea party turned into the ultimate power broker here in washington? let's go to cnn's brian todd. >> reporter: wolf the tea party's influence on the house vote this week, how much they swayed john boehner is a huge story in the debt ceiling
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debate. some believe this was a dangerous political play for them. you've seen it on john boehner's face when he emerged from meetings with his party. the strained look of a pressure whose been pushed and pulled. who has done the pressuring? a relatively small but powerful group of republicans, the tea party. >> how has the tea party shaped this debt debate in washington? >> the tea party has forced john boehner more to the right that involves deeper spending cuts and also support for the balanced budget amendment. they've had disproportionate impact on the entire congressional debate. >> extraordinary considering the portion of the house they make up. the tea party caucus in the house has 60 members. a quarter of the total number of republicans in the house. but when john boehner had to delay the vote on his bill to get more votes the tea partiers made up more than half the republicans who were prepared to vote no. it's a continuation of the momentum triggered last fall
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when the tea party captured political lightning in a bottle. they came in on a promise to shock washington into spending less, cutting more. their unwillingness to compromise has changed the way the government handles its debt. even senator mccain says they risk overreaching if they never compromise. >> to hold out and said we won't agree to raising the debt limit until we pass a balanced budget amendment to the constitution is unfair, it's bizarro. >> are tea party lawmakers playing with fire? >> they are putting themselves in peril. the tea party can destroy itself. if it's seen as taking us into default. >> it may already be paying that price. in polling since january of last year public disapproval for the tea party has been growing from 26% to 47% now. analyst darrell west said that may not hurt tea party congressman themselves in their
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next elections. >> but the republican presidential nominee may end up suffering the consequences because obama certainly is going to tie that gop nominee to the more extreme elements within the republican party and congress. >> but many tea party lawmakers seem to relish that fight saying voters sent them to washington on a mission and they are more cutting spending than winning a popularity contest. wolf? >> thank you very much. gloria borger is getting ready to speak to mitch mcconnell coming up. an accident doesn't have to slow you down. with better car replacement available only with liberty mutual auto insurance, if your car's totaled, we give you the money for a car one model year newer. to learn more, visit us today. responsibility. what's your policy?
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gloria borger's back. you're going to be speaking with mitch mcconnell tomorrow morning. filling in ing iing i ing iing "state of the union." there's just a few hours left. >> right. and mitch mcconnell is clearly the key man here. he's somebody that they believe can really bring along a senate majority, can put some pressure on some republicans in the house to go along with this. and so he's clearly the person that the white house has picked
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among all republicans to deal with. and mcconnell could not deal until the boehner bill had gotten through the house because he supported the boehner bill. so now i think they're entering negotiations in earnest. the question is -- where are the democrats in all of this? >> who else is on "state of the union" tomorrow? >> we have chuck schumer, the key message-man in the senate for the democrats. and we have gene sperling, one of the president's top economic advisers, to talk about where we are in these negotiations and whether we're going to get it done. >> 9:00 a.m. tomorrow, a live show. we'll be watching. gloria, thank you very much. when we come back, jeanne moos finds some newsroom what's going on -- some humor in what's going on in this debt crisis. er. proper nutrition can help you get back on your feet. three out of four doctors recommend the ensure brand for extra nutrition. ensure clinical strength has revigor and thirteen grams of protein to protect, preserve, and promote muscle health. and immune balance to help support your immune system.
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the u.s. debt limit is inspire something folks out there. here's cnn's jeanne moos. >> reporter: a rap video, a cops and robbers movie, and amy winehouse -- ♪ no, no, no >> reporter: what do they have to do with the debt ceiling fiasco? ♪ >> reporter: this comedian from virginia likes doing political videos. >> all this spending kind of fits in well with like a bad rap. i happen to be a bad rapper.
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♪ >> reporter: speaking of bombs, was that really the a-bomb dropped by house speaker john boehner as he tried to get his fellow republicans to get in line? >> is it true that you told some of the republican members this morning that you need to get your a-word in line behind this debt ceiling bill? >> i sure did. listen, it's time it do what is doable. >> reporter: the "washington post" reported that the house majority whip played a movie clip to motivate republicans to pull together. the clip featured ben affleck as a bank robber planning revenge in the town. >> i need your help. i can't tell you what it is. you can never ask me about it later, i'm going to hurt some people. >> whose car are we going to take? >> reporter: democrats turned the car against the republicans. >> they chose to inspire their house freshmen, one of the crooks governors a pep talk to the other right before they both put on hockey masks, bludgeon
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two men with sticks -- >> ahh! >> and shoot a man in the leg. ladies and gentlemen, this is your house republican majority. >> reporter: asked about republicans playing his clip, ben affleck said, "i don't know if this is a compliment or the ultimate repudiation -- but if they're going to be watching movies, i think "the company men" is more appropriate." a film about corporate layoffs. >> you're firing me? >> reporter: here's a head-scratcher -- what possible connection could there be between the debt and the death of singer amy winehouse? ♪ they tried to make me go to rehab ♪ >> reporter: republican congressman billy long from missouri tweeted, "no one could reach amy winehouse before it was too late. can anyone reach washington before it's too late? both addicted -- famestate?" -- same fate?" long apologized saying he meant no disrespect to winehouse with reference to congress' addiction to spein